Military families come in all shapes, sizes, and many cultural backgrounds. The main commonality is the idea that they have someone that they love who serves and protects our country. This of course brings a whole new dynamic to these families as a whole. As I wrote in my previous piece, the military lifestyle is full of different challenges that these families must face on a regular basis. It is important to note that these challenges cause each military family to develop their own strengths.
What are some of the strengths of these family units? Military families can have a strong sense of unity when it comes to working together and creating a working family system. This can come from the fact that the lifestyle itself comes with a regular amount of change (i.e. moving, deployments, etc.). Because these families often move to a place where there is not a consistent support system established, they often have to rely on each other to feel secure and adapt to a new environment. This does depend, however, on the family itself.
Second, military families have a strong sense of adaptability. As I mentioned before, change is common in the military lifestyle. This leads to consistent changes in the environment, and to many family members having to find new ways to cope with each change.
Third, there is a strong sense of independence in military families. The military culture is steeped in independence as well as a strong sense of constantly moving forward. This of course, impacts the family by causing them to not always reach out and ask for help if that is not necessary. This can often lead to a strong sense of personal responsibility and proactive behaviors.
Fourth, military families are open to trying new things and exploring new cultures. Many military families are stationed overseas in different countries, which can expose them to different ideologies and people. Even living on a military base can lead to a new cultural exposure in some way. Many military children make friends with children from different backgrounds due to where they live and where they might go to school. As a result, military children can be very open and friendly with other people from different backgrounds. Even after the service member retires, the family tends to be open to exploring new things in their community.
Every family has their own set of strengths. Military families are no exception. It is important to see how we can focus on those strengths and encourage their growth.